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Hawaii E-Line

Some news items are bound to surprise. Hawaii hardly seems the type of place where people would be queuing up for a rail transit line, but in a referendum question, 52% of the voters supported the 20-mile project, aimed at reducing traffic congestion…

Rail rolls to victory on ballot – News – Starbulletin.com

Oahu residents voted to approve the City Charter amendment supporting the 20-mile elevated steel-rail transit system from Kapolei to Ala Moana, the single-largest public works project in state history. Mayor Mufi Hannemann, the leading advocate for a steel-rail system, said it was a tough campaign, but asked opponents to find a way to support the project.

“The feeling has been let the people decide and the people have spoken,” he said.The mayor said the economy and environment need the steel-wheel-on-steel-rail system. “But most of all, our families need traffic relief,” he said.

Ala Moana Beach Park

Is this the future for all North American Cities? Will we see transit popping up in place of the ever independant automobile?

Having driven around Oahu, the traffic really didn’t seem that bad, so it is a surprise to see this project gaining so much support, particularly for a 20-mile line. Considering the usual timeline for construction of these type of projects, I wonder if it will be completed in time for $500 a barrel oil?

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Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.